Davenport

Davenport: (n) a large sofa, often one convertible into a bed.

Language is made out of razor blades.

It took me a while to learn this.

If you’re not careful, you’re going to cut people.

And if not agile, you may end up slicing yourself.

Whenever you contend that a certain word is necessary in order to communicate sophistication or perhaps being a well-rounded human, you’ve grabbed the razor blade and slashed out at the world around you.

Over the past fifteen years, I have made a concerted effort to make my language out of marshmallows. Even if they occasionally bounce off someone, it produces a giggle-fest instead of a bruise.

To do this, I had to get rid of the assertion that I became a “better person” by using “better talk.”

Example:

The best way to describe a large seating place in a living room is to call it a couch.

Once you abandon the word “couch,” everything else you say is an attempt to separate yourself from the milling masses and the ignorant idiots.

Even calling it a “sofa” is filled with such pretension that people immediately know you’re trying to communicate your verbal—or even perhaps natural—superiority.

I won’t even discuss the word “divan,” because truthfully, friends, it is not divine.

Yet when I was growing up, there were those who referred to a couch as a davenport. Generally speaking, they were old, white, and held their noses a little higher than others. It was obvious they were in a constant search for obscure terms to describe common things.

Many of them said tomato and potato with a soft sound on the “a.”

“To-mah-to.”

“Po-tah-to.”

Occasionally, when using a word from foreign extract, they actually fell into an accent which they mustered for the moment.

The pastor’s wife from my church had a davenport. That’s what she called it. Now, she never corrected anybody for calling it a sofa or a couch, but she refused to join them in such lollygagging of the tongue.

So let me tell you:

If you want to find out what your profile is on Earth, see how many attempts you make to establish patterns of speech that you have decided are more “high-minded” than others.

If you have many, many of them, you are officially an Earthly asshole.

If you have a few, you’re pretentious.

The recommended number of fussy words that you dare keep around in your lingo is zero. 

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